travel

Madeira’s enchanted forest

The Portuguese island Madeira is famous for its levadas. They are water systems and distribute water from the high mountains to the villages. Today, tourists can walk along them and enjoy a beautiful scenery.
My favorite path leads along the Levada Riberia de Janela. It is situated in the north-western part of Madeira. At its start, you can enjoy the view of the ocean and a small village.

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If you walk deeper into the island, you can find many exotic plants and handsome birds. Just follow the canal and you will encounter an enchanted forest.

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The Levada Riberia de Janela leads you through tunnels and under waterfalls. Make sure to carry a torch and to wear a waterproof jacket.

However, this great place has a dark history. The levadas were built by slaves in the 16th century. At that time, the Portuguese owned some colonies on the African continent. They shipped Arab and African slaves to Madeira in order to grow the trade in sugar and to use slaves as domestic servants. In 1763, slavery was abolished in Madeira and many slaves were brought to another Portuguese colony: Brazil.

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